A Day Before Thanksgiving, Trump Slams Father of UCLA Basketball Player as “Ungrateful”

The president can’t seem to quit his feud with LaVar Ball.

Mai/ZUMA

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One day before families across the country gather to celebrate Thanksgiving, President Donald Trump is blasting one man as an “ungrateful fool” because of his refusal to lavish words of appreciation on the president.

Trump on Wednesday intensified his ongoing attacks against LaVar Ball, the father of one of the three UCLA basketball players arrested in China last month, labeling him a “poor man’s version of Don King, but without the hair.” 

The newest attack comes after Ball on Friday openly questioned the extent to which Trump played a role in his son’s release, after LiAngelo Ball and two of his UCLA teammates were caught shoplifting. The president has repeatedly claimed that he was crucial in securing Ball’s freedom.

“Who?” Ball responded when ESPN asked about Trump Friday. “What was he over there for? Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out.”

Trump seized on the remarks, suggesting a day later that he should have left the players in jail.

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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